$tand By Me Rolls out free 2017 tax preparation platform

Delaware taxpayers who made $64,000 or less last year can do their own taxes with ease and accuracy through MyFreeTaxes.

The online platform helps ease the financial burden of tax filing fees and ensures filers get the full return due to them.

“$tand By Me is all about financial empowerment,” said Mary Dupont, Director of Financial Empowerment for the state of Delaware. “Helping people do their own taxes and ensure they get their full returns — and not spend much-needed money on preparation fees — is one way to empower others financially.”

MyFreeTaxes Delaware, is a collaboration between $tand By Meand United Way of Delaware. Taxpayers who use MyFreeTaxes instead of a tax preparer can save an average of $200 in preparation fees.

Filers can access the program from any computer with internet connection and use their mobile devices to enter data securely. The platform includes a free-of-charge hotline staffed by IRS-certified income tax preparers to answer any questions that may arise during the process. Filers can also access tax experts via online chat and email. All services are available in both English and Spanish.

“Each year, millions of filers are eligible for billions of dollars in tax credits, such as Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit, which reduce the amount owed to the Internal Revenue Service,” said Jerry Hunter Chief Operating Officer of United Way of Delaware. “MyFreeTaxes identifies those tax credits and applies them to their returns so people get back what they legally deserve.”

The MyFreeTaxes platform also simplifies the filing process so filers don’t have to spend days and weeks filling out tax forms. Last year, 80 percent of filers completed their returns in less than one hour using MyFreeTaxes.

Through the national sponsorship of United Way Worldwide, H&R Block provides the software, which uses the highest industry standards to safeguard taxpayer information. This marks the ninth year of partnership between the two agencies. For 2017, H&R Block has enhanced its security features to safeguard filers’ sensitive information.

MyFreeTaxes differs from the IRS’s free filing system in its phone, email and chat support. Filers always have the hot line to call when they reach an impasse in preparing their taxes.

To get started, MyFreeTaxes recommends that taxpayers gather all documents that will be needed, such as W-2 and 1099 forms, their bank account numbers, and all income/interest statements.

For more information go to myfreetaxesde.com

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